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Reliable Sources

Series/Special. Examining media coverage and how it can shape the news. New. (CC)

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Christopher Dorner 12, Us 10, Marco Rubio 6, Obama 5, California 5, Herman Cain 4, Washington 4, Citibank 3, George W. Bush 3, Keli Goff 3, John Mccain 3, Paul Farhi 3, Cnn 3, Canada 2, United States 2, America 2, Advil 2, Aleve 2, New York 2, Vatican 2,
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  CNN    Reliable Sources    Series/Special. Examining media coverage  
   and how it can shape the news. New. (CC)  

    February 17, 2013
    8:00 - 9:00am PST  

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to d-day. it tells the story of the scientists, engineers and businessmen whose inventions produced the allied victory against the nazis. we tend to think of grand strategy happening at the top. this book shows you the people below who actually made it all happen. and now for the last look. take a last look at canada's penny. as of last week, it has gone the way of canada's dollar bill. relegated to the dust heap of history. why? for logical reasons. it's expensive. for starters, it costs more than a cent to make a penny. it's also inefish. . the opportunity cost of all its 35 million citizens counting out their change to the cent in every transaction is far greater than the value. many other nations have already gotten rid of their penny equivalence. australia, brazil, finland, israel, the netherlands, new zealand, norway, sweden,
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switzerland, to name just a few. give me a penny for my thoughts. can we please get rid of our penny? the savings are small, for sure. but how about bucking the zinc and copper lobbies and making the american penny something we only see at the smithsonian. the correct answer to our gps challenge question is "b." brazell is said to have more than 1.25 billion catholics. that's more catholics than any other nation. the highest percentages of catholics can be found unsurprisingly at the vatican. 9 9%. the state with the second highest percentage of catholics, 98% is 7,700 miles away from st. peter's. thanks to all of you for being part of my program this week. i will see you next week. stay tuned for "reliable sources." the networks were all geared up for that big washington event, the state of the union. the pundits all suited up to
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analyze what barack obama was going to say and then -- >> we're focusing on two people tonight. this guy, christopher dorner and the president of the united states. one is giving his state of the union address and the other is, perhaps, in that burning cabin. >> should the cable news channels spent so much time on that fatal california shootout with a cop killer? as for the republican response, the moment everyone was talking about. >> some are jokingly calling it water, yes, watergate. >> seriously, why was the water so far away? it makes no sense. >> at that point, it's better to have no water. >> why was the press so upset with marco rubio's water bottle? it was a battle of the titans. i head into the no-spin zone with bill o'reilly. i already won this round on points because you said, yes, i guess i should have mentioned
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it. the elephant in the room that kick started this debate. >> number one i said to goldburg, i should have mentioned it only because it would have avoided all of this nonsense. all right. >> but who's right about the media coverage of the president's war fare? plus "esquire" lands a gripping series of interviews with the former navy ceil who shot and killed osama bin laden. did the magazine leave out crucial facts? i'm howard kurtz and this is "reliable sources." the murderous rampage of christopher dorner had already drawn national coverage in part because of his bizarre manifesto popping on television pundits and anchors. before the annual address to congress. the networks left facing a dilemma, which story to cover and practically until the minute
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the president started speaking, the one in california won out. >> we're going to go now to probably the biggest story of the night, which is clearly the story we planned on covering on nbc and my colleague rachel m madd, w will pick up in a minute. >> we're also following breaking news out of california. and get back to the president's state of the union address, but authorities are are now telling cnn that the fugitive ex-policeman christopher dorner is dead. >> we'll get ready to hear from marco rubio. we want to update you on a story we've been bringing you all night here on fox news channel. the fugitive lapd cop is believed to be barricaded inside a burning cabin in big bear lake, california. >> was that the right call or did important national news get overshadowed? joining us now in washington is jane hall school of
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communications. frank sesno and a former cnn washington bureau chief and paul farh ireporter for "the washington post." should the cable networks gone wall-to-wall with the christopher dorner drama as the president was getting ready for the state of the union. >> they didn't have a choice. >> they didn't have a choice? >> executives make choices. >> what they didn't do, they didn't interrupt the speech itself. they didn't split screen the speech itself. so, the speech itself stood there. now, would i have liked to have seen more about the president and what was going into the state of the union? yes. is there a clash here? fundamentally right the dorner story is a local story, mostly. but it was getting national attention. so, it was both. the presidential story was a global story. this is, this is o.j. on steroids. i mean, wve been here before. >> tleferance, of course, made to bill clinton's 1997 state of the union which was split
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screen. okay, local story jane hall, national attention. why is that? >> well, i think some people try to portray him as some sort of rob robinhood and while we're in the midst of a serious debate of gun control that amount of coverage glorified this man publishing his manifesto. i agree with frank, newspapers won't have to choose as much as cable does. they can split the screen. if they had split the screen, they would have been saying christopher dorner, a murderer, is equal to the state of the union address by the president of the united states. that would have been pretty awful. >> although in the hours before president obama spoke, a lot of split screen and paul farhi is there an argument that the shootout, the manhunt, the fire was actual news whereas the hours before the state of the union is pregame chatter? >> i think you could probably argue that there was a public safety issue here. there is a guy running around with a gun who has killed three
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people. it puts the people of southern california, at least, in jeopardy until we knew exactly where he was. but i agree with frank here. tv news is often about tv more so than it's about the news. in this case, you had so many elements that made it such a great tv story. you had car chases and cops and fire and so many elements that were riveting to viewers, even though the news value beyond southern california wasn't great. >> let me just play on that for just a minute because paul is absolutely right. this was paved by the o.j. simpson case. when the famous o.j. simpson story took shape, cnn went wall to wall with it. that was really the first time cable went wall-to-wall with a story like that. >> with a trial. >> i'm talking about the chase and all of it. what we saw, because i was anchoring a show here at that time. my show was preemptive every day
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when we went to trial by the trial. >> you're still angry about that? >> no, i was fine with that. the ratings for the trial were 20 times what the ratings were for the show that i did ever day. i was a terrible anchor, by the way. which must have been way. >> frank, here's the part where we just say no. it was really bizarre to watch the nightly newscast with all of their people assembled basically say we're not going to talk about -- what all these people are going to be talking about. we're going to go out here. it was a local story which was cat nip to people. >> that's a conflicts that paul was just talking about. >> the other note is that there wasn't a lot of new information for hours about what was happening with christopher dorner and the shootout and another police officer was killed in that shootout. let me go to what happened after the president's state of the union and the next day, in particular, we had a lot of this having to do with the guy who delivered the republican response, marco rubio. >> nothing has frustrated me
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more than false choices like the one the president laid out tonight. >> i have to ask you about that water bottle last night. twitter went a little bit wild. you tweeted out the water bottle yourself. you got it there, again. >> paul farhi, was the level of attention given to this moment when the senator felt like he had to take a sip. played like 155 times on was that warranted? >> no, but, again, the news is in many ways what is unusual and what is unusual here is exactly what you're showing, again, for the 156th time. it lit up twitter. everybody remembers it. it will be the only thing remembered about that speech in four years when marco rubio is a presidential candidate. remember when you gave that response to the state of the union and you took that drink of water? he'll be asked about it forever. >> nothing is too trivial to
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trivialize. i think that's what we saw here. >> we're having fun with it. something about it that is profoundly. it is all about the poland spring. >> if you want a mood, it shouldn't be depressed. it should be outraged. we are having -- state of the union obama and rubio engaged the big clash of what government should do and be all about and how it will play out and we're talking about water, not how much your government is going to spend on what. >> my theory about this politicians are so stage managed and journalists are so glad when something unscripted happens we focus on it. you're absolutely right. him characterizing himself and talking about his background, this is the rehearsal for what republicans will say about immigration and there was stuff there. >> so much time to fill. >> talking about how you fill the time and story selection choices. there was this calamity on the carnival cruise ship "triumph"
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where it took several days for the crippled ship to come to port. 4,000 people were affected. cnn covered that heavily than any other, renting a helicopter and a boat. important legitimate story and some critics say cnn went overboard. >> went overboard, no pun intended. i grabbed a life jacket and watched a lot of it. cnn went overboard. most people went overboard. but there is a real good story here. 2% of americans, millions of americans go on these cruises. carnival, fascinated by this. a panamanian company flying a behamian flag with offices in miami. what accountability do they have? what was happening? we watch movies about this stuff. it's a very good story. at times it got ridiculous. i mean -- >> paul, jump in. >> i disagree completely. it was not a very important story. it was about people being inconvenienced. again, it was a good tv story. you had cnn's coverage land, sea
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and air. you had helicopters and people on the scene and it made for good tv. >> wait a minute. paul, wait a minute. 4,000 people -- >> but the implications were not great. >> not every story has larger implications. 4,000 people powerless, adrift at sea with little food or water. >> i didn't have a problem with cnn going wall to wall with it as long as they went back to the world. i did wince when somebody on there said i feel like i'm in a third world country and i thought, you're getting off the boat. however inconvenienced you are. they even told tv reporters to their credit. look, this is not a natural disaster. it was riveting and reminded you of the "titanic." >> not quite the "titanic." everybody covered it, but not quite to this extent. i want to touch on one more thing before we go to break. fox news and former senator scott brown this week hiring herman cain. serious question. the last time we heard from herman cain he was dropping out of the presidential race in the
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face of sexual harassment and ginger white, but a lot of smoke, let's say and now fox is giving him this platform. does that cause you any hesitation? >> well, at some level, yes. except that politicians come back to live another day after these sexual scandals. i think he's in a long line of republican presidential candidates who cool their heels between running for president on fox news. >> what about the women who were involved in these relationships? harder for them to be rehabilitated? >> i felt the same way about eliot spitzer, though. this is not unique to fox. >> i would call it the former politicians full employment act, which is going to work for a cable channel or some place else. but in the case of herman cain and being serious about it it for a minute. what you look for when you bring somebody on board for a cuminitary. someone who has something interesting to say and different perspective on life and can bring something to the conversation. whether that's reality based or
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information based or real, we'll see. i kind of like herman cain. i kind of like the fact that he brings something unpredictable and real world to the conversation. >> i agree with that. i'm just mentioning the cloudy circumstances. let me get a break. when we come back my fox news showdown with bill o'reilly. with a machine. what? customers didn't like it. so why do banks do it? hello? hello?! if your bank doesn't let you talk to a real person 24/7, you need an ally. hello? ally bank. your money needs an ally. all right that's a fifth-floor probleok.. not in my house! ha ha ha! ha ha ha!
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fox's biggest star and your correspondent began on this program last sunday when i replayed a clip of what bill o'reilly said after backing president obama's drone warfare program. >> remember the outcry about waterboarding? everybody jumping up and down. nbc news i thought they were going to belt down over there. have you heard anything about the drones? >> i challenged o'reilly saying he should have mentioned the nbc scoop because it was driving a renewed debate over drones. o'reilly, you will not be surprised to learn struck back on his program the very next day. >> are you kidding me, howard? the media coverage on waterboarding you don't know that? >> next came an invitation to debate the issue on o'reilly's home turf. we went toe-to-toe on the factor. >> you just lost points by confusing hard news reporting
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about drones with the "new york times" editorial page. which hasn't condemned, as far as i know in any great measure as they did with waterboarding the use of it. what we were clearly talking about here. 48 hours after the nbc memo appeared was why the left doesn't condemn killing terrorists with drones, unilateral killing decisionmaking with one man with waterboarding that kills anybody. you and i know it's hypocritical, yet you don't engage in that. you come after me. it's ridiculous. >> i was just a very mild, carefully chosen critique of your performance. but here's the larger point, bill. in terms of the, what you see as the relative lack of outcry. there was a passionate debate in this country about whether waterboarding is torture led in part by john mccain. that was easy for them to cover
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because it was so out there. romney didn't talk about it and i didn't hear it in the debates and the press, including the commentators have been too passive in my view, just like they were in the run up to the iraq war. it should be an issue. it should be debated. >> jane hall used to tangle with o'reilly. >> regularly. >> was this an enlightening debate? >> i think it was good. i think you did well and i think he shifted the terms of the debate, which he likes to do. first of all, he does not like nbc. going back to keith ooberman. he shifted it back to what he wanted to talk about and i thought you had a very substantive debate, which was a good thing. >> he wanted to talk about himself and how he felt i had wronged him and i was trying to get to higher ground. did o'reilly convince you that i was mistaken in saying i had made a glaring omission? >> he lost me in that because there was so much criminology to
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it. i would have said, in that discussion in that showdown, you did the right thing. you acknowledged his point and then you turned to the larger issue and the larger issue is a very large issue. the use of drones and the way the media in this country has or has not focused on him. >> let's get into that, does o'reilly have a point? i would agree to a point, we talk about some of the exceptions that there has been media hypocrisy when it comes to holding president obama accountable for this sort of secretive program in which eye level officials can target, including americans abroad, target terror suspects for death in a way that might not have been the case was this happening, it did happen on george w. bush, but obama has expanded. media hypocrisy? >> there has been condemination on the left of the drone policy. o'reilly is wrong there. but his point is actually fairly well taken. we haven't had quite the same
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robust debate about whether this is an effective policy of moral policy as we have had for many years and that's part of it about the waterboarding and enhanced interrogation. the fact is, the drone policy is relatively new and that's part of the problem here. is that we've only been dealing with it for four, five years. it will take some time to get us to the same level of outrage, i think, as we have about waterboarding and torture. >> i would like to commend o'reilly, actually, for putting this issue forsquare in front of people. this is a really big thing, as i say. the question is, do the media lead or follow? the point you made about john mccain speaking out. drones, we are, there is sort of unilateral decisionmaking about who lives and who dies from the sky. there is a lot of civilian consequence in all of this. >> the two political parties are not arguing about it because conservatives generally like the
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drone program and liberals are kind of siding with the president and that leaves the press. let me take a half a minute to say as i said on o'reilly, prominent exceptions here. "the new york times" has done big front page stories about the kill list and how it's done and contrasting obama as a candidate and making those selections and "newsweek" has reported on this and, now, o'reilly will say you're talking about the reporting, what about the commentators. liberal commentators giving obama a pass on this? >> giving obama a pass on this and the country a pass on this. this is a national statement what we're doing. >> i think it goes to the fact that democratic presidents have been perceived as "weak on national security." i think a lot of people were secretly like go obama when osama bin laden was killed and maybe even that way about the drones. a certain hypocrisy about that. >> people may be watching this conversation, oh, there you guys go, again. telling the liberal
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commentators -- not about condemning the use of drones. they are a legitimate weapon and important weapon in the war that the uted states and the world is fighting against terrorism, but how any weapon gets used and who is targeted is something -- >> the secrecy around it. >> the secrecy around it. >> i do think that as i said that the press in general, this is not just the commentators probably a little more inclined to give president obama the benefit of the doubt on national security issues than was the case with george w. bush, which was somewhat rounded of the way we got into the iraq war. >> you think that george w. bush didn't have virtual carte blanche from the establishment in the media when he was watching. for a very long time. >> including all the years when iraq was deteriorating. >> for a very long time. certainly in the beginning getting in. >> paul farhi, what about this notion that it is easy or more comfortable for those of us in the news business to jump on a story when, you know, the republicans and democrats are
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fighting about it, as was the case in waterboarding. important event for us to cover and all too easy and all too convenient for us not to pop up our heads and make it an issue ourselves when in the case of drones not a robust political debate going on. >> that's a great point. what people don't realize about the news media it often follows, in fact, almost always follows and does not lead in terms of debate. it waits for debate to break out and then it follows that debate. and that's exactly what's happening here. until you get a john mccain. until you get people on the left to really stand up and give those, you know, robust kinds of criticisms of the drone policy. we will be in the background. we will follow and wait for that. >> by the way, i kidded o'reilly about why he was securing referring to me as his old pal. here's how he ened the segment when i was on "the factor." >> sure you'll get a lot of
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e-mail about it and run it on your show on sunday. good work, me and you because you're my pal. >> i thought his ratings would go up because i was going on. thanks very much for coming by this sunday morning. up next, the pundits mostly praised the president's state of the unii. so why aren't obama's proposals getting more media attention? hi♪ ♪ we, we chocolate cross over. ♪ yeah, we chocolate cross over. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing fiber one 80 calorie chocolate cereal. ♪ chocolate.
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president obama's speech may have been overshadowed by the christopher dorner shootout and marco rubio's water bottle, but it was filled with plenty of proposals, big and small. no shortage of punditry once the president was done. >> stunning speech tonight being accepted very well by democrats here on the hill. >> i think it was a very effective address and did what he had to do. >> i think all prescriptions he had made about the economy have been forgotten. >> the president's chance to lay out his second term agenda and the speech was aggressive on the economy and dramatic and emotional on the need to end gun violence. >> the media covering the state of the union fairly or already moved on? joining me in new york, keli
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goff and will cain and also a cnn contributor. welcome. they gave the president's speech positive reviews. >> i think the assessment in large part whether it is fair or critical has been shallow. you asked just a moment ago if the press moved on. they moved on instantly, howie, to the extent they gave it attention. i think the state of the union is a largely overrated event. it's boring. kitchen sink speech that you throw everything at it and see what stinks. thomas jefferson decided to mail it in, literally, and every president for 100 years followed. i think that might be a tradition we return to. the shallow thing is important, howie. you in your last segment talked about drones. in president obama's speech they have crafted a rigorous, legal framework for the drone policy. we haven't been talking about that since. is that true? also embraced the idea of executive orders, right?
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six years ago the left would have been up in arms about president bush talking about executive orders. but we haven't been talking about that. we talked about tone and we leave it at a shallow level and move on. >> i can't argue very much with will's assessment keli goff. the laundry list the president went through. $9 minimum wage and universal preschool and creating infrastructure jobs to help rebuild crumbling highways and reducing the nuclear stockpile with a few exceptions and "new york times" stories almost no serious media coverage of once in 24 hours was up. >> let's not forget the refusal of the administration to put a price tag on anything and blatantly saying we're not going to put a price tag. we're not ready to do that yet. whether or not the coverage, the fairly positive coverage of the state of the union is this. rush limbaugh gave it two thumbs up. now, last time i checked.
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he's not a huge fan of the president but he said, look, it was a good speech. are don't agree with the policy proposals. >> do we cover this too much in theater criticism and got i don't care if people come on tv and want to talk about the politics of it and see if anything will pass. it seemed like it vanished from the radar from the moment the president was done speaking and that's not the media approach we would have seen a decade ago. >> you just called it a theater criticism. that's a good way to call it. we have to move on beyond that. why is the media taking shallow critic instead of policy analyst. >> straight up boring, perhaps. >> i'll give you a couple reasons. it's just incapable of doing it. >> why is that? why is that? interesting point. why is that? >> keli, you sound like you
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might disagree with me. honestly, we don't hire people who are capable of looking deeper into the issues we hire political strategists and reporters who have a role but you have to look deeper into the issues and that means you have to understand the issues. political strategists are meant to spin things politically and understand how they'll play in polls politically. >> keli? >> i will split the difference. the conflict you have when you have people like karl rove and dick morris and people who are paid to see a certain outcome in terms of being political consultants and then asked to provide analysis. that's not fair and balanced and bias, so to speak. i'll split the difference and see there is a larger issue at play, howard that you covered in your earlier segments. the kardashianism of all of pop culture that seeped over to media. why state of the union didn't get the coverage it deserved because of all the other stories that are getting covered.
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carnival cruise, christopher dorner and the only one that got a substantive boost is water. >> don't forget marco rubio's water sip. it's political cheerleading and kardashian. >> and was it that it was a funny, awkward, silly moment for the media and this started on twitter as somebody mentioned earlier, or a certain amount of let's make fun of a republican, potential for republican presidential candidate because he got a little thirsty? >> it was both. so, let's be objective here. it was funny. it was really funny. what was funny was the way he locked into the camera. right, kept his eyes. it was funny. but, dave weigel at slate tweeted this. the media at its most heatherish. remember that movie? the original "mean girls." was that driven by partisanship?
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absolutely. >> the only other elected official that got almost as much coverage is representative cullen because of the twittergate situation with his long lost daughter. again, is that more important than the policy issues that we should have been covering from the state of the union? absolutely not. >> just to clarify, just to clarify member of congress tweeted a 24-year-old woman and now he says it is a daughter he did not know he had until a couple years ago. i have to get a break. come back with a more serious topic. the late murderer christopher dorner is drawing praise for from some pundits. what explains that? to be the world's best sport sedan... ♪ ...people noticed. ♪ the all-new cadillac ats -- 2013 north american car of the year. ♪ for a limited time,
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makes it easy for anne to manage her finances when she's on the go. even when she's not going anywhere. citibank for ipad. easier banking. standard at citibank. christopher dorner who died in that california shootout this week would seem to qualify as a heinous human being. having killed four people, two police officers. but the former cop with his rantings about racism at the lapd has in a bizarre twist been embraced as a hero by some on twitter and even some cable tv guests have seem sympathetic. >> as far as dorner himself goes, he has been like a real-life super hero to many people. don't get me wrong what he did was awful. they're rooting for somebody who was wronged to get a kind of
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revenge against the system. it's almost like watched "django" in real life. >> i found those comments absolutely offensive. only one other guest on the cnn panel pushed back against him. your thoughts? >> well, mark is a friend. we're going to have to disagree on this one because i find christopher dorner to have been what he did heinous, as well. i think what's interesting is buzz feed had a fascinating article about the fact that his sort of supporters are more main stream than you would think. some interesting articles in "vice" magazine saying essentially what mark conveyed what he did in the end was wrong, but sort of we understand. that seemed to be the tone. the other thing that is fascinating about this, howard, he has supporters from unlikely places. not just sort of this african-american but people like alex jones who don't strike us as sort of someone who would take an african-american man who
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is said to have killed police officers -- >> let me jump in. he did apologize to the victims' families on bill o'reilly show and o'reilly took him to task over this. i have to say, will cain. people who ay, aside from the fact that he killed a few people, he was making sense. it really troubles me. >> it is an incredible illustration of overreaching. i also want to say this. mark lamont hill is a stand up guy. i like mark and what i appreciate about mark when most things are being covered at a superficial level but he reached so far in his attempt to be thoughtful on this that he reached beyond the realm of sanity. i would tell mark that in person. let's grant the premise there is a serious problem. there is a racism problem at the lapd. is christopher dorner your window to illustrate that problem and the answer must almost unanimously be no. you can't turn him into alamo
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and he killed innocent people that had nothing to do with what his supposed cause is. and what mark did then is not grant legitimacy to the cause, he grant legitimacy to the murderer. he granted credibility to that guy. that's what is insane about it. that's mark's mistake and to the extent there's people out there that agree with that. that's absord. >> just briefly, keli. are we in the media giving too much attention to his views when he is a mass murderer? >> i believe the media gives too much attention to the criminals and not enough to the victims. how many of can say the full first and last names of the victims of this man? i think the larger story here, howard, is that these type of stories really feed into the paranoia of the right. when you have this whole debate of the audio that i know has been covered about whether or not the lapd planned to burn this man out. unfortunately, that gives
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credence to people to say, i told you so. the main stream media and lapd are not giving us the full information. that makes heroes out of people like chris dorner. >> keli goff and will cain, thanks veer much for stopping by. ahead on "reliable sources" the shooting holes in his account. a conversation with phil bronstein in just a moment. up ng the heartburn blues. hold on, prilosec isn't for fast relief. cue up alka-seltzer. it stops heartburn fast. ♪ oh what a relief it is!
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then you're going to love this. right now they're only $14.95! wow-a grt deal just got a whole lot better. hurry. $14.95 won't last. it's the interview every journalist wanted with the man who killed osama bin laden. phil bronstein spent many hours the the one-time navy s.e.a.l. the man he describes as the shooter is struggling financially, prompting bronstein to ask, is this how america treats its heroes? joining me now from san francisco, welcome. >> thanks, howie, for having me. >> how on earth did you find this guy, get access to him and convince him to talk to you? >> well, you know, howie, it started really as a social interaction. some mutual friends.
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i had been overseas correspondent for about nine years. i had gotten to know a lot of special operators in that time. i had been in war zones and that helped the connection. people connected me to a guy described in the story as the mentor who also former s.e.a.l. was in a s.e.a.l. team with the shooter and then went on to blackwater and the cia. i started speaking with him over the phone and didn't know who he was. we got comfortable with each other and he then made sure that i got in phone contact with the shooter. again, started anonymously. built up trust over a period of time and then i met him face-to-face and thus started a long relationship over a year and a quarter of hundreds of hours of discussion, interview, conversation about his life, not just the mission. >> and when you spend hundreds of hours with someone over the course of more than a year and you have dinners and drink scotch and he played with your kids, is there any danger that
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you become too close to the subject and you become his advocate? >> i think, howie, that the overarching answer to that is, yes, there is a danger and, no, it didn't happen. in this case, really, the point of the story was to illuminate the fact that these guys, unlike all the jason bourne movies and "zero dark thirty" and magicals and make things happen. can take a hair pin and make an atomic bomb. these guys are human beings. so, my goal was to portray this particular guy who happened to cereen dippiously be there at the moment to shoot bin laden and kill bin laden as a human being. we had stories that were hilariously funny and were sad and moments where he was countrim plating suicide after tough deployments and to have
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him be a human being. one reason he decided to go ahead with this story, the greater good aspect. if we can let people know that a guy like this leaves the service, with not much in the way of services and not much in the way of transition help from the military side that it illuminates a problem that is otherwise hidden and in the dark because of what these guys do. >> on that point, you know, this was kind of eye popping for you to report, the guy who had spent 16 years in the service and is a national hero for his role in the bin laden raid has no health care, you say, no pension. but as you know, after "esquire" published a piece, he has access to five years of free health care. wasn't that a glaring omission in your piece, phil? >> i think, megan, the reporter for "stars and stripes" was doing her job. it turned out, i don't understand the mystery of this,
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but the center of investigative reporting version, digital version had language, paragraphs and sentences in there talking about the five-year medical care plan. it's not medical insurance. i still don't think it's comprehensive. i've read up until last night, i keep rereading all the v.a. documents. but we say it existed and we say some other services existed and the version that esquire put up on its site. in fact, it was already printed in esquire. there was a print copy that i had in my hands last monday had it in it, too. but apparently the "esquire" site digital version did not have that language in it. megan was just noting that in her stars and stripes story. "esquire" came out strongly saying, you got it wrong. it's in there. but turns out not to be in the version she read. >> there's no space limitations on the internet and also the question of him not having a pension, but he was told, apparently, that you only get a pension if you stay in 20 years
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and he stayed in 16. "esquire" man a correction, five-year health care benefit. larger point that this undercut your premise a bit, even though this former navy s.e.a.l. is having some financial problems, that he was screwed, as you put it. >> well, look, the fact is that the larger story was accurate. you know, i still, we could sit here and debate forever whether the insurance, the care that the v.a. provides for the vet, not for his family is comprehensive. is it more service related? which is what we said. we decided to make that statement and err on the side, here is what the v.a. said. there is no pension, no one argued that fact and no protection for him or his family if he is outed as the guy who is the shooter, then all sorts of danger, one could imagine and government offered him, they didn't even have a witness protection program. the navy, the s.e.a.l. command but they said we can maybe
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change your identity and get you a job driving a beer truck in milwaukee. >> he declined that. >> the answer to your question, it did not change the thrust of the story or the impact. there was huge. talk about vierality. we got offers of help from everyone from sean hannity to sean penn. >> we have about 20 seconds. do you think he should be able to go public and reap the rewards or is that impossible because of the danger to him and his family? >> i think, you know, he's his own person. he is very independent. he is not broke and homeless, as some people have suggested. the story has said that he has gotten some consulting work in the last couple of months that has picked up. so, i think if he's not identified, he will have a life that is okay. if he's identified, i think he's have opportunities and dangers and he'll have to, you know, consult with his group of friends and supporters to decide what to do. >> thanks for coming by, phil, and illuminating us on the story behind the story. the reporter who scooped the
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world on pope benedict stepping down and big bucks from a foundation and why sarah palin is right to mock "the washington post." stay with us.hi y chocolate. ♪ ♪ we, we chocolate cross over. ♪ yeah, we chocolate cross over. ♪ [ male announcer ] introducing fiber one 80 calorie chocolate cereal. ♪ chocolate. begins with back pain and a choice. take advil, and maybe have to take up to four in a day. or take aleve, which can relieve pain all day with just two pills. good eye.
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time now for the media monitor. our weekly look at hits and errors in the news business. when the stunning news emerged that pope benedict was resigning one reporter got the scoop in an old-fashioned way. she covers the vatican for italy's news agency watched the pope's speech and was able to translate it from latin so she could report before her rivals that benedict would be the first pope in 600 years to resign. it turns out she had to wrestle with her emotions saying as a person i was really, really sorry. i admire ratzinger and respect him. jonah lehrer dropped out, he resurfaced this week in a form sponsored by the knight foundation and talked about his mistakes. >> i need rules because i don't trust myself to not be arrogant.